Blues lovers would have to travel quite a distance to see a better show than "Fall into the Blues" on a Sunday afternoon. Four of the area's top acts will come together to raise money to help send the festival audition winners, Shawn "Dirty" Strickland and The Porkroll Project, to Memphis, Tenn., for the 2012 International Blues Challenge (IBC).
Also performing will be the winners of the 2010 festival auditions, John "JT Blues" Thompson and Miz Ida and the All-Nightas, who represented the Billtown Blues Association (BBA) in Memphis at the IBC earlier this year.
"Fall into the Blues" will be held at the Genetti Hotel, Grand Ballroom, 200 W. Fourth St. Nov. 6. The doors will open at 3:30 p.m. and the concerts will being at 4 p.m.
The Porkroll Project, above, will perform at “Fall into the Blues,” which will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Genetti Hotel Grand Ballroom, 200 W. Fourth St. The doors will open at 3:30 p.m.
In addition to a great evening of blues music, this event gives blues fans a chance to meet up with old friends, make some new ones and support live music. It also allows the public a chance to preview what the IBC hopefuls have worked so hard on all year. A good time is guaranteed to be had by all. Put on your comfortable shoes and be prepared to dance the evening away. Four of the area's top acts at one low price is a deal that is hard to pass up.
This event is one of the BBA's most important as it allows the group to send this year's audition winners to compete at the IBC.
The musicians will be going up against some of the best the blues world has to offer.
'Fall into the
"JT Blues" Thompson, with his strong foundation in traditional blues and boogie-woogie, lets his passion for this American indigenous music influence his approach to everything he plays. He is an accomplished keyboard player who has the ability to hold an audience's interest throughout an entire set. Playing the blues isn't a guarantee of a successful music career, but JT somehow makes it happen. He has been playing long enough and often enough to have worked off the rough edges, while maintaining an emotional power that comes from singing what he knows.
BBA officer Bonnie Tallman said "Thompson faced many hurdles to get to the finals. He became eligible to compete in the international competition by winning the BBA's Billtown Blues Challenge in 2010. In Memphis, he was up against 87 solo-duo competitors from all over the world. For him to be in the final eight (performers) out of 88, and considering the extent of the worldwide competition, to get to the finals is extremely significant."
For more about Thompson, visit www.jtblues.com.
Miz Ida and the All-Nightas is a group of blues veterans with deep roots in the Williamsport blues scene.
The band's focal point is Cheryl "Miz Ida" Miller, a charismatic singer who recently returned to performing after a hiatus. Recent performances have shown that Miller hasn't lost a step. In fact, she's gotten better with age. Accompanying Miller is bassist Nuclear Dave Krempasky; guitarists Lori Smith and Big Al Meck; drummer Rockin' Roy Pursel; and harmonica player Diamond Dave Thompson.
This group doesn't just play the blues - it celebrates the blues. Collectively the members have been playing for more years than we can count and the experience is evident. It was not by chance that they won the band competition in the 2010 "Billtown Blues Challenge" Festival Auditions.
For more information, visit www.myspace.com /mizidaandtheallnightas.
Shawn "Dirty" Strickland, as he has asked to be called to differentiate himself from the solo jazz artist with the same name, plays an acoustic blend of blues, funk and soul. He comes from a family with a musical background, most notably his great-grandfather "Red" Edwards, who had appeared on the Grand Ole Opry and the Hadicol Train during the '40s. He was raised in Norfolk, Va., where he decided to learn blues guitar after finding a best of Muddy Waters album.
The Porkroll Project is a hard rocking six-piece blues band that plays a high energy blend of fresh covers and originals. The band describes their style as "Blues, but it's done up Porkroll style. Little bit of grease, good dose of funk, whole lotta drive and grind. Throw that together with some dangerous lead guitar and harmonica, powerful organ, and rippin' piano, and you have a recipe for a night where anything can happen!"
They take their inspiration from a vast number of artists, from a great number of diverse styles. They have worked this musical history into a style that is uniquely The Porkroll Project. Hailing from the greater Philadelphia area, The Porkroll Project made it to the semi-finals of the International Blues Challenge, in Memphis, in 2010, and their CD "Shake It Twice" made it to the semi-finals in the Blues Foundation's Best Self-Produced CD Contest that same year.
Band members include Neil "Porkroll" Taylor on guitars, Joe "Big Note" Stout on B3, Paul Mateki on piano, Ed Young on bass, Chad Edstrom on drums, and Buddy Cleveland on harmonica and vocals. Their second release, "Three-Legged Dog," is now available.
For more information, visit www.porkroll-blues.com. Admission is $8 for BBA members and $10 for non-members. Food, beverages and $1 drafts will be available for sale. There will be no advance tickets.